Are you just getting started on social media? Good for you! I am excited that you’re joining the social sphere. It’s a great way to build your business – but great doesn’t always mean easy.
Social media has its own etiquette. If you understand and follow this etiquette, you’re going to get better results from your social media marketing. When you’re familiar with social media, this etiquette may seem obvious and self-evident, but if you’re new to Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, that’s not always the case.
When you look around the social media world it is easy to see that some people understand the tools they are using and others do not. Let me clear up a few social media faux pas I see every day.
LinkedIn Faux Pas
Use a Real Photo- Not a Logo! – on Your Profile.
LinkedIn is a business-to-business social network designed to help people connect. The keyword here is people! When someone sends me an invitation to connect and they have their photo blocked or they have a company logo I will not accept the invite. A profile is designed to showcase a person, not a company. LinkedIn provides a company page for marketing an organization. I want to see the person I am doing business with and feel a personal connection, and I can’t take that first step if I do not see your smiling face.
Be Personable – No Cookie Cutter Messaging!
Whether you are sending an invitation to connect or adding comments to a group, be personal. When you reach out to someone, even if you know him or her, add a custom message. Don’t just not use the “canned” invitation. When commenting on group post, be sure to acknowledge people by name.
Make sure your comments add value to the conversation. Don’t use comments as a sales opportunity. That’s not what people are looking for in that setting.
Facebook Faux Pas
Profiles are not for business.
A Facebook profile, like a LinkedIn profile, is designed for people to connect with individuals. You can use your profile for business purposes, but it needs to feel like an individual. When you create a profile that has a business name and logo and ask me to be your friend I say, “Sorry no.” I will “Like” your page, but I am not going to friend a business.
If you have made this mistake, don’t feel bad. Many people have done the same thing you did! Luckily, it’s easy to convert your profile to a page. It’s definitely a good idea as business pages on Facebook have more marketing benefits than profiles. You’re doing yourself an injustice by making your business a profile rather than a page.
Twitter Faux Pas
Create a Bio that Tells Me Who You Are
I like to follow people on Twitter but if I do not know what you’re about and what you’re going to tweet then I do not follow. Your Twitter bio should explain to me in 160 characters or less what I gain from adding you to my stream.
There is a Way to Ask for Things
I have had on occasion people tweet me looking for information and support. Generally, I am happy to share but I have to admit that I was taken aback when someone asked me openly to connect them with a client. Essentially they asked for a direct contact without even getting to know me. People share their client connections via Twitter all the time but before you ask for an introduction be sure you really get to know the person.
Don’t Beg for Attention
Another faux pas, although not as grave, is continually asking your followers to re-tweet your posts. Twitter users know how to re-tweet, and they’re not shy about doing so. Don’t beg for attention. Provide content that is compelling enough that people won’t be able to keep themselves from re-tweeting it!
Always Remember: Behind every social platform is a real person. You need to think about how that real, live, breathing, thinking, feeling human being will respond to your actions. Social media is a great tool for growing you business and your relationships. Just keep in mind what the tools are designed to do and how you want them to work for you.